As part of the ongoing Road Safety Week initiative, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the apex automotive industry body in association with MoRTH and Delhi Traffic Police organised a seminar on ‘Emerging trends in Safety on Roads’.
The sessions discussed the adoption of latest automotive technologies to reduce road fatalities, pointing out the need for proper enforcement of rules and regulations and creating awareness of the drivers as well as masses. These it says are primarily needed to reap full benefits of advancements in technology for improving road safety. The apex body declaring the year 2019-2020 as ‘National Road Safety Year’, said SIAM is constantly working hard to enhance road safety in India through various onsite & online campaigns, awareness programs, seminars, rallies and other initiatives.
Neeti Sarkar, CEO and project director, NATRiP, government of India said, “Safety is indeed the prime concern now because of the alarming fatality figures on road. But with emerging technologies and the strengthening of law and regulations, situation in India is bound to improve in spite of high traffic density and vast climatic ranges. NATRiP is setting up more testing facilities to ensure vehicles’ safety condition. Testing agencies and OEMs will work together on safety of Indian roads.”
Taj Hassan, special commissioner, Delhi Traffic Police pointed out that, “Vehicle safety technology up gradation and awareness programs alone are not bringing the desired results because of lack of self-discipline. Many issues are there in the area of road safety and lack of co-ordinations amongst stakeholders. Technology has potential to solve enforcement problems and bring many changes - like introduction of mobile numbers to connect users will help in getting rid of the wrong address problems. We look forward to solve these issues and also want industries to join hands in ensuring the road safety in every possible way."
In his address, Abhay Damle, joint secretary, MoRTH, government of India congratulated SIAM for announcing 2019-2020 as National Road Safety Year. He also mentioned that “Even if drivers are not cautious enough, the vehicles and road infrastructures have to assist in avoiding accidents. Technology should take care of the safety features like airbag and seatbelts in cars, proper sized helmets available with two wheelers, truck standard and regular fitness maintenance regime as well as maintaining the black spots. But above all, to make the technologies fruitful, all of us have to comply with the laws.”
Explaining the road safety initiatives, Prashant K Banerjee, executive director (Technical), SIAM requested all stakeholders in joining the mission of SIAM National Road Safety Year 2019-2020. He said, “As part of Road safety initiative, SIAM members would take up multiple activities across India involving engineering, education, enforcement and accident data analysis throughout the year.”
During the day, two technical sessions were organised. The first session on ‘Vehicular Safety Standards’ saw discussion on the safety features on two-wheelers, four-wheelers and commercial vehicles, in areas including dynamic steering, automated manual transmission, telematics system, safe cabin, cruise control, lane keeping assist system features to equip drivers with more control over human errors.
The second session on ‘Auto Components Safety Standards’ highlighted the use of genuine parts, using helmets of proper standards and awareness of having proper lights on the vehicle help to avoid accidents. It was also discussed that proper infrastructures and investments in this field, regularising, standardising and digitising the aftermarket of spare parts will lead to reducing road fatality only if the drivers and fellow citizens are aware.
The event also included two brain storming sessions, which saw various suggestions and ideas, such as a system of camera monitoring on driver’s activity, taking control of the situation and safety features to reduce stress level of drivers. SIAM says the topic of role of inspections and certification in bringing road safety sparked debate and discussions about awareness, all over again.